Access Denied: Walt Disney Co. Joins DIRECTV in Screwing Viewers

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Splashed across the front page of the second section of the Wall Street Journal on Monday was an article explaining how Walt Disney Co. dissed Cablevision Systems Corp. by yanking its ABC stations from viewers in the New York area early on Sunday—just in time to prevent 3.1 million households in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from watching the Academy Awards broadcast last night. It appears that Cablevision subscribers in that part of the country who want to watch anything on ABC will have to choose another satellite provider, since these two big companies can’t resolve their financial dispute at a level that does not involve the viewing public.

How annoying.

And yet, how consistent.

I’ve spent the winter in a bit of a panic, ever since DIRECTV decided that Comcast was charging too much for the Versus channel and removed it from their menu. For the past few years, Versus has provided my indoor entertainment in the form of outdoor sports, including everything from bull-riding to the all important Tour de France. Once upon a time, DIRECTV was the only satellite television service that offered Versus. So if you’re like me and want to spend three weeks in July mesmerized by Lance Armstrong and company (not to mention all the spring classic bicycle races and grand tours that lead up to the TdF), you pretty much had no choice: DIRECTV was your only option. Now, all of a sudden, DIRECTV is the only non-option for Versus. So if I want Versus, I now have to switch to Cableone, or DISH Network, or something else.

I'm thankful for the Internet and live streaming.

And this DIRECTV commercial is outrageous, considering how screwed they make me feel.

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